As he rose up, a kind of charged emptiness hung in the air, as if something that hadn't been said was plain to everybody in the room, and didn't require any expression.

Of course, everyone thought.

Jason Kidd — in a tie game, 24 seconds left, facing a make-or-miss from 24 feet to win or lose.

Against the team he put on the NBA map, in his Brooklyn debut.

Launching a shot toward the ceiling beams that one day will be adorned by his jersey.

On a night when the calendar said December but the emotions said May.

There was a poetic symmetry to this, and it's not something that comes around often enough. But there was Kidd, taking a swing pass from Raymond Felton and measuring the distance between Jerry Stackhouse's right hand and the time it would take to catch and shoot.

There was enough of both, as it turned out.

Shot, splash, explosion.

And just like that, the greatest player in Nets history consecrated the Barclays Center while wearing a Knicks uniform, deciding a 100-97 pulse-beater that made you check the schedule for the next encounter, and left the guys in the winning locker room shaking their heads.

"Father time, I don't know," Tyson Chandler marvelled. "He makes shot after shot, play after play — whether it's a steal or a 3 or diving for a ball, getting a helmet ... he just makes play after play after play, and I don't understand it. That's why he's a Hall of Famer."

Kidd's ledger would read 18 points, six rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes, which is not the kind of stuff you often get from a 39-year-old who in another incarnation dominated this rivalry from the other side.